In 1170, exasperated at St Thomas Becket, then Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry II shouted, “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights heard the king and took it as an instruction to kill Becket, leaving Henry with plausible deniability.
When the terrible deed was done, Henry claimed to be outraged and sought penance for his words, but endured no earthly justice. No one would dare cross him again.
After 842 years this might be the oldest trick in the book.
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